Uncategorized

Where are my fossil peeps?

geology

Any ideas as to what these fossils are? I picked these limestone rocks up near the local wildlife reservoir in Kansas, USA during a fishing trip. The layer where these are located is 2.5-5cm thick. Each black fossil is about 1cm in length.

I’d love to hear anyone’s ideas as to what these might be?

I’ve always had an interest in rocks, fossils, and the environment around me. My favorite college classes were Oceanography (right… in the middle of the continental USA), Astronomy, and the outlier here – Human Growth and Development. I think the last one had more to do with the AMAZING professor who taught it. Ecology of the Environment was a good one too. Mineralogy was tough due to the fact that my eye correction is super high and that seems to make microscope work difficult. — I’ll end my tangent here. —

Back on track – if you have an idea of what sort of creature or plant may have created these fossils, I’m all ears!

Perspective · Uncategorized

Carpool playlist

Yesterday’s carpool playlist. Short and eclectic with my personalized commentary.

Number 1.

image

This song has mad bongo skills and is one of my personal favorites for kitchen dancing. Also a dance song at the end of “Despicable Me.”

Number 2.

image

I just want to celebrate… Another day of living! Generally speaking, this is my personal motto. I know how fragile life is and that the faultiness of the human body is inevitable. So celebrate today and that your heart is beating. You have a purpose today!

Number 3.

image2.jpeg

No amazing message here. I just enjoy Panic! At the Disco and his amazing vocals.

Number 4.

imageI enjoy singing to this one. My parents thought her voice was like fingernails on a chalkboard when I was in high school.

Number 5.

image

Come on Patty. Get it together…  Classic country with a great beat. Seriously can’t beat Prime Country if you’re a fan of country music.

Yesterday I had about 90 miles in carpool driving with school drop off, then preschool pickup at 11, followed by the 3:15 1st grade crew and being the drop-off for CLASH youth group. And of course, my job in between all these jaunts to the school and back out again to the office, occasionally grabbing filters or a part for the guys in the shop. I get to do almost the exact same thing today!

You may have noticed KIDZBOP on the menu. KIDZBOP makes my ears bleed… but occasionally I’ll click on it as a distraction for my littles. If the song is terrible and has a bad message, I turn it off again.

I introduced the kids to Scott Joplin a few days ago in the form of the Entertainer. It’s such a fun song to play on the piano! They weren’t quite sure about its entertainment value… Guess I’ll just have to keep introducing them to new – read it: old – music!

Uncategorized

St. Patrick’s Day Musings

I’m sitting at the dentist office with my youngest for the second time this week. Monday it was a cleaning. Today it’s for the fillings that she needs even though we brush, floss and swish with fluoride rinse. And I realized that I’m not wearing green. Surely no one is going to pinch a 34 year old woman in pink… Right?

Last year, my crew decided to get away and loaded up for a weekend in Manhattan, KS. Or ‘Manhappiness’ as we like to call it. I ran the 10K road race that begins and ends in Aggieville. I PR’d and my family enjoyed the annual festivities the city puts on. All around a good time.

st pat race

If you’ve never been to Manhattan- the Little Apple- home of Kansas State University- neighbor to Fort Riley, home of the Big Red 1- gateway to the beautiful Flint Hills and Tallgrass Prairie- I encourage you to check it out. I am absolutely biased after attending KSU for 4 years there, but the majority of people agree it’s a lovely place.

“I know a place that I love full well…”

Aggieville is the bar and college inspired area just off campus. This little gem is the heart of what has become a large St Patrick’s themed party, aka Fake Pattys.

Fake Pattys is held the Saturday before the real St Patrick’s Day when the college students are still in town. I believe this was born out of the problem recognized by bar owners- students are always on spring break for the real holiday. Thus, the bars missed a huge chance to sell an enormous amount of green beer.

 

1923227_622433685911_5844146_n
Throw it WAY back to 2009.

 

I’ve attended two Fake Pattys and likely won’t attend another for a very long time. The day starts around 8am with green beer, green shirts specially designed by the t-shirt stores in Aggieville, breakfast and green beads. Fast forward a few hours and more green beers… to lunch and live music. Then a whole afternoon of more green beer, more green beads, more bands, and maybe a nap back at your apartment. Back to Aggieville and probably another bar with more green beer, bar food, and on and on until 2am. At which point you absolutely need fast fried food and a ride home.

We were actually in town again this year on a business errand and witnessed the melee. Our favorite observation was the entrepreneurial students across the street from Aggieville selling Mac n cheese and bacon from a pop up tent. And they had customers.

All of this is now a tradition a decade strong and growing every year.

I don’t condone over-intoxication or unruly conduct. I won’t paint myself as someone who didn’t make bad decisions in college either… I did. These days, I lead a simpler life that involves a rare few drinks socially a year. However, I certainly remember the care-free attitude of being a college student.

The Manhattan PD and assisting agencies have a fabulous account of the holiday this year. You can check it out here. Working law enforcement in a college town, I think you’d have to have a good sense of humor. I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite tweets of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day season:

twitter1

twitter

Love · Perspective · Uncategorized

The Scientist – Dating my Husband

One of my favorite songs the past few weeks is “The Scientist” by Coldplay. It came out over a decade ago, but recently it caught my ear. It’s easy to sing. I enjoy the minor tones. And I love the message that I take from it:

Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry
You don’t know how lovely you are

I had to find you
Tell you I need you
Tell you I set you apart

Tell me your secrets
And ask me your questions
Oh, let’s go back to the start

I’m not sure if I’m taking the written message the right way, but to me it’s all about making that connection. Making the EFFORT to make that connection

Running in circles
Coming up tails
Heads on a science apart

Nobody said it was easy
It’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard

We’ve been together since 2000. My oh my. That does seem like ages ago.

I was starting my senior year of high school. He was starting his sophomore year of college. Our dates consisted of Messenger chats and him coming back to my high school for my sporting events and a few hours of time together after they were done.

I did go on a date with someone else in college. I wanted to test the waters. See if I wanted to keep doing the long-term thing or date other people. It was a resounding “I don’t want to date anyone else” moment by the end of that night. I knew how good I had it. My husband was and is a keeper.

Fast forward almost 17 years. We’ve been married for 11.5 years. We’ve grown up and learned strengths, weaknesses, and held each other when it hurt. There’ve been fights and  frustration. Moments where a drive alone was necessary.

I was just guessing
At numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart
Questions of science
Science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart
Tell me you love me
Come back and haunt me
Oh, and I rush to the start

And we keep coming back together to figure it all out.

Dating each other is important. Me giggling on the couch. The way he laughs when something funny catches him off-guard. Real time together. Snippets of time in the kitchen alone without the kids. Flirting. That arm slipping around me while I’m washing the dishes after dinner.

Asking those questions that neither of us really want to, but know we need to. Then working through the answer.

Raising our children together.

Running in circles
Chasing our tails
Coming back as we are

Nobody said it was easy
Oh, it’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard

I’m going back to the start

I don’t want this to sound like we are struggling. We are deeply happy. But to stay that way, we have to keep going back to how we connected. To keep that passion and interest in each other- Ask what he’s reading. Give a little pat as I pass by. Keep dating each other.

Keep going back to the start.

13767127_10103109177295741_3714943659326746635_o

15317968_10103424000876761_3770233531888254975_n-2

Creativity · Faith · Family · Fitness · Health · Uncategorized

Creative Insomnia

Insomnia. Apparently, it is quite common. Defined as “habitual sleeplessness or inability to sleep,” this is a frustrating part of life for millions of people. Some struggle with getting to sleep. Others struggle to stay asleep. According to medicalnewstoday, there are many causes ranging from psychological and medical issues to technological media being present in the bedroom. The diagnosis of insomnia covers a wide range of people and blankets a myriad of diagnoses.

In the Trenches

When my doctor first asked me about my sleep, I was eyeballs-deep in parenting a non-sleeping 1 year old and rambunctious 3 year old. I kid you not, my 1yr old slept only eight nights the first 14-15 months. She was a tiny, healthy little thing that simply did not sleep. “This too shall pass” was a frequent phrase for me. I was also working full-time. A glowing picture of sleep, I was not.

Flashback!!!
Sleep? Who are you kidding?

So what do you say when your doctor looks at you and says “How are you sleeping?”  My reply was simply that I wasn’t but isn’t that what most parents in the trenches say? Was my situation really any different?

Insomnia and the Brain

The nervous system is an amazing superhighway transferring messages (stimuli) along the neural pathways. Central command is the complex powerhouse known as your brain. Have you seen the Pixar movie ‘Inside Out’? That’s a fun illustration, but it does so much more than just control feelings. The brain delicately sends out messages for voluntary and involuntary muscle movements. When you have a lesion – it screws everything up.

If I could find my latest disc with my annual MRI pics, I’d post one. It’s fascinating. Every year when I have my MRI, our hospital sends me home with a copy with the current scan and a copy of the previous year’s to take to my neuro. I go home and pour over these images trying to note any changes. Thus far, I haven’t had any since the first one showing the initial lesion(s).

Snowball

img34

Autoimmune fatigue is a different kind of animal… and it likes to snowball. For example – I like to run. I can run a half-marathon and be tired at the end. I might even “hit the wall” in proverbial running terms. It still isn’t the same kind of fatigue as autoimmune fatigue. When the real thing hits, you really don’t have a choice about “should I stay and work 15 more minutes on that project?” or “I wonder what we’ll have for dinner tonight?” It is a cancel or postpone whatever you can, tone it down, rest, keep your eyes open and body awake enough to safely get everyone home type of reaction. It is bad — and I didn’t really understand that until I experienced it.

The kicker is…. just because you rest doesn’t mean you sleep. When you don’t actually sleep, your body doesn’t get the deep REM cycle it needs to heal. Thus begins the snowball effect. It doesn’t always start with autoimmune fatigue, but you can bet that after a few days or weeks of not getting that deeply needed sleep you are seriously tip-toeing along the edge of the autoimmune cliff.

Creative Insomnia

I fall into that category of insomniacs that don’t have a problem falling asleep, but can’t seem to stay that way. Who am I kidding??? When I tuck my littles into bed, I’m probably drooling and unconscious before they are…

Back to an appointment with my neuro… He suggested a few options:

  • Melatonin
  • No media 30 minutes before bed
  • Amitriptyline (wide range of uses!!!)
  • No caffeine
  • Empty bladder

On top of those options, I’ve found that regular exercise and making sure my magnesium levels are sufficient are the keys to a full night’s sleep. Not every single night, but the majority are better with the assistance of these supplements. I can’t handle even the lowest dose of amitriptyline, so I take a half dose if its been multiple days seeing 2 or 3am. At a half dose, I still have weights on my eyelids at 9am and my amazing husband handles the school prep and drop-off.

When I do see 2 or 3am, I try to make the best of it. In the quiet of the wee hours, creativity flows and deep heart-wrenching prayers are said. If only there was a good way to record that creativity in the dark and warmth of my bed? I feel comfort in those deep prayers and sometimes an indescribable spiritual peace.

If you suffer from insomnia, I strongly encourage you to talk with your doctor and open your mind to possibly look at “outside the box” remedies (exercise, lavender, lifestyle changes, quiet meditation/prayer time).

As with all things, a positive outlook is something I strive for. Psalm 34. It’s worth the look.

 

Uncategorized

Today. Remembrance.

May we not forget the complete sacrifice of those on the fallen flights that day, the people who tried to save them, and those who strive to keep us safe everyday and protect our US freedoms.

A special acknowledgement to the selfless heroes on United Flight 93, somewhere over Shanksville, Pennsylvania…. “Are you ready? Okay. Let’s roll.” (Todd Beamer)

And to those who ran towards the burning falling buildings knowing they may not get back out.

I was in my dorm room, alone, freshman year, and woke up to see the towers being hit on the news. That’s where I was. I cried. I panicked. And I prayed.

Even today, I cry. And I pray. And I strive not to worry because God holds me and my future in His hands.